Deconstruction and Translation explains ways in which many practical and theoretical problems of translation can be rethought in the light of insights from the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. If there is no one origin, no transcendent meaning, and thus no stable source text, we can no longer talk of translation as meaning transfer or as passive reproduction. Kathleen Davis instead refers to the translator's freedom and individual responsibility. Her survey of this complex field begins from an analysis of the proper name as a model for the problem of signification and explains revised concepts of limits, singularity, generality, definitions of text, writing, iterability, meaning and intention. The implications for translation theory are then elaborated, complicating the desire for translatability and incorporating sharp critique of linguistic and communicative approaches to translation. The practical import of this approach is shown in analyses of the ways Derrida has been translated into English. In all, the text offers orientation and guidance through some of the most conceptually demanding and rewarding fields of contemporary translation theory.
Section I: Translatability and Untranslatability
Chapter 1: Différance
Difference at the Origin
Saussure and Differences
The difference of différance
Chapter 2: The Limit
Singularity and Generality
Chapter 3: Iterability
Stability and Instability
Conclusion: Institutions, Kingdoms, and Property
Section II: Implications for Translation Theory
Chapter 4: Unloading Terms
Chapter 5: Translating Derrida
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Geoff Bennington and Ian McLeod
'The Measure of Translation Effects'
Chapter 6: Response and Responsibility
'Mercy Seasons Justice'
Translation Theories Explored is a series designed to engage with the range and diversity of contemporary translation studies. Translation itself is as vital and as charged as ever. If anything, it has become more plural, more varied and more complex in today\'s world. The study of translation has responded to these challenges with vigour. In recent decades the field has gained in depth, its scope continues to expand and it is increasingly interacting with other disciplines. The series sets out to reflect and foster these developments. It aims to keep track of theoretical developments, to explore new areas, approaches and issues, and generally to extend and enrich the intellectual horizon of translation studies. Special attention is paid to innovative ideas that may not as yet be widely known but deserve wider currency.
Individual volumes explain and assess particular approaches. Each volume combines an overview of the relevant approach with case studies and critical reflection, placing its subject in a broad intellectual and historical context, illustrating the key ideas with examples, summarizing the main debates, accounting for specific methodologies, achievements and blind spots, and opening up new perspectives for the future. Authors are selected not only on their close familiarity and personal affinity with a particular approach but also on their capacity for lucid exposition, critical assessment and imaginative thought. The series is aimed at researchers and graduate students who wish to learn about new approaches to translation in a comprehensive but accessible way.